FIGURE 8.1. Most available evidence suggests that the functions of memory are carried out by the hippocampus and other related structures in the temporal lobe. (The hippocampus and the amygdala, nearby, also form part of the limbic system, a pathway in the brain for the signals that underly the emotions.) It is intriguing to observe that the physical process of laying down a memory by inducing structural changes in individual nerve cells resembles, in some of its features, the sequence of cellular changes in the brain's early growth and development.

vestigation. Neuroscientific interest in learning and memory has recently increased for two reasons, according to psychiatrist Eric Kandel, a senior scientist in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Columbia University. One reason is the proposal of cellular mechanisms that account for a basic kind of learning and long-term memory. The model was first identified in the relatively simple nervous systems of the marine snail and the crayfish, but it appears to hold good in the hippocampus of vertebrates as well, where it also may be associated with the formation of long-term memories.

The second reason for a new interest in learning and memory is the evidence accumulating to suggest that mechanisms

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